From the Press Newspaper:
“Christchurch’s killer quake gave a jolt to the country’s nerves, with doctors issuing a record number of sedatives and other pills to calm mental anguish.
In the wake of last February’s 6.3 quake, which killed 182 people and devastated Christchurch, figures from national pharmaceutical management agency Pharmac show prescriptions for mental health-related conditions rocketed to a national record increasing by 41,000 scripts.
The Canterbury district health board saw the single biggest lift, from 38,000 scripts in February to 47,000 in March, a rise of 9000.
But the same increase in scripts were issued by Auckland’s three health boards.
Eighteen district health board regions reported increases.
New Zealand Psychological Society president Frank O’Connor was not surprised by the figures. ’’It’s not the earthquake itself, its that everything’s changed, everything’s different,’’ he said.
’’It’s a reminder that we don’t know what’s going to happen.’’
In February there were 256,000 prescriptions but by March that had risen to a record 297,000, a 16 per cent jump, with the bulk of the increase coming in sedatives and antidepressants."